Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

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TimStannard
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Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by TimStannard »

I've been contacted by Ben Simon, Chariman of Borehamwood Movie Makers, to say that it look like the demise of the club is imminent unless they can generate some interest and some new members pretty quick.

With his permission, I have copied his email below, but the gist is, if you know anyone to whome it mght appeal, please pass the contact info on.

Hello there!

I am writing to you with some unfortunate news in that, after many years of producing our own Club films and supporting our Members’ many other productions, it looks like the Borehamwood MovieMakers (previously also known as the ‘Camcorder Club’) will be winding down its activities towards the end of this year.

Some of you may remember me as Chairman of the Club throughout most of the 1990s, back when Borehamwood MovieMakers was a thriving club that was still shooting on good old film as well as the then-new video formats. I have remained in touch with the Club over the years, and joined again recently when I heard membership and film production was in danger of reaching an all-time low.

In a last-ditch effort to try and raise our dwindling numbers, we reasoned it might not be such a bad idea to reach out to other almost-local Clubs as well as those farther afield, perhaps in the hope of offering an extra night’s fix of our favourite interest or for those who might be moving from one area into ours and looking for somewhere to continue their filmmaking exploits!

The radically reduced Borehamwood MovieMakers meets currently just once a month on every second Monday (excluding Bank Holidays, in which case we meet the following week – our Programme link below gives more info). We do have a small core group of people who continue to produce films…but we need more! Sadly this does seem to be the case with many other Clubs I have been in touch with lately, but as some others have said, too, perhaps the answer might be some cross pollination?

If we can’t raise our numbers sufficiently by the end of the summer (and, my, how we have tried!), it does look like this particular bunch of MovieMakers will be no more. If that is the case, we intend to go out with a bang with our hosting of this year’s Hertfordshire inter-club HACCA competition, to be confirmed for November and to which we hope to invite many friends that have supported the Borehamwood Club over the years.

I do hope to soon be able to say that we’ll keep trundling on for at least a few more years – perhaps you could pass this message around your own Club Members in case it may be of interest and help make that become a reality?

Many thanks, and all the best with your own productions. Happy filmmaking!

Ben Simon,
Chairman, Borehamwood MovieMakers

http://www.pembers.net/bcc/programme.html
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
Chrisbitz
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Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by Chrisbitz »

It's a heartbreaking scenario that sadly isn't that uncommon.

The most frustrating thing is that you know there are people who'd want to join out of the 100,000 people in the locality, but the problem is getting your message to them!

One interesting thing that i've discovered just this week is Facebook advertising. I'm not sure it would help in this instance, but i've been given £25 of free FB advertising, and thought I'd use it for one of my FB fan-pages.

The interesting thing about FB is that they know where you live, what your interests are, and how old you are. so you can specifically advertise to people aged 30-60, living in Borehamwood, and with filmmaking listed in their hobbies and likes area.

For my particular fanpage advert, my fans rose from 200 to 560 in three days, and that's cost £15 so far!

I'm now thinking of doing something business related as it's ben such an eye-opener!
I like to make films, this is- my Youtube account. What's yours?

"all of the above is nothing more than nonsensical ramblings, and definately should NOT be misconstrued as anyone's official policy"
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TimStannard
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Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by TimStannard »

That's interesting Chris. I must admit to being a bit lost as to why anyone wants to become a fan of anything on Facebook (and, at 51, I'm probably younger than most of the IAC demographic as well as having been employed in IT since 1977). I'm a big fan of forums as one means of exchanging ideas, skills and opinions, but I still fail to grasp social media as a business tool. However, one of our members is writing a book about that very subject at the moment so I'll try again to grasp the concept.

Of course, that's a bit beside the point - here you're talking about focused advertising which I can grasp :)

How can I find you on Facebook?
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
Chrisbitz
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Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by Chrisbitz »

My facebook address is http://www.facebook.com/Chrisfilm and the fan page I referred to above is at http://www.facebook.com/teegofreya

My business is very local as I fix computers doing home visits, so advertising to anyone further than 5-10 miles away from me is a complete waste of money. Facebook knows what town you live in, what your age is, and what your interests are. There is no method in the history of the world, that can be that accurately targeted.

To my clients who have been listening to their luddite friends, I tell them to go against the "cool kids" (Yes, even at our age there are boring people who just want to knock anything new and unfamiliar) who dismiss it as something for mindless teenagers talking about what they had for breakfast - have a go - who knows, you might even have fun!!
I like to make films, this is- my Youtube account. What's yours?

"all of the above is nothing more than nonsensical ramblings, and definately should NOT be misconstrued as anyone's official policy"
Mike Shaw

Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by Mike Shaw »

Tim ... just about to write up the next Southern Script for FVM ... would they like a mention in that? Mind you, it'd be talking to the converted - they need new blood from the great world outside.
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TimStannard
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Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by TimStannard »

Mike Shaw wrote:Tim ... just about to write up the next Southern Script for FVM .
I'm sure they'd appreciate a mention. Ben was only too pleased when I offered to post his plight here and on the Digital Director forum.

But just to expand this a little:

What is it that IAC affiliated clubs are not offering that means they are failing to attract new members?

I have a variety of reasons why we might not appeal to younger members (Laurie Calvert's offspring excepted) and I applaud the fact that at BIAFF there was a session dedicated to young film makers (though according to a fellow member who went to that session, it was not very well supported - what does that say about us?)

But younger members aside, why are we not attracting enough retirees or semi-retirees to replace those that are no longer able to attend?

Chrisbitz suggests it's a case of people not knowing about clubs, but surely the information is more available and easily found than ever before?
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
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TimStannard
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Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by TimStannard »

Chrisbitz wrote:have a go - who knows, you might even have fun!!
I've been on FB for a good few years, and only occasionally have I ever been moved to comment on anything. And bear in mind that I have two adult children and two adult step children with accounts as well as two sisters and their offspring my nephews and nieces). Yes, it could be a great way to keep in touch, but sadly the drivel gets in the way.

My wife uses it to keep tabs on what my stepchildren are doing (sort of useful, but also a bit 1984) plus natters with all the school mums (we have a younger daughter as well).

The only time I ever thought it came close to being useful was when my daughter went for a three week tour around Europe and my son went to help build a school in Uganda. But they rarely found time to post as they were too busy doing something interesting.

Forums, on the other hand, I'm addicted to. They're focused, but it doesn't mean you can't have a lot of off topic fun as well.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
Mike Shaw

Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by Mike Shaw »

I'll drum up a little piece for the Borehamwood people then - though must remember it'll be talking to the converted. Still, you never know - acorns and oaks and all that.

I thought the 'young people's' session at BIAFF was quite well supported - it was in the largest cinema (200 seats) so while there were obviously a lot of empty seats, I reckon there were at least 100 people in there - probably well over half those at BIAFF that day? That was my impression anyway.

Several of the films were shown again on the Sunday - which gives an indication of the exceptionally high standard of films from 'juniors'.
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TimStannard
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Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by TimStannard »

Mike Shaw wrote: I thought the 'young people's' session at BIAFF was quite well supported - it was in the largest cinema (200 seats) so while there were obviously a lot of empty seats, I reckon there were at least 100 people in there - probably well over half those at BIAFF that day? That was my impression anyway.
That'll teach me to listen to our members!
Thanks Mike, I'll let Ben know.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
Brian Saberton
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Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by Brian Saberton »

I enjoyed the junior films at BIAFF and thought they showed a lot of talent, maturity and sensitivity. Interestingly I visited East Renfrewshire Camcorder Club near Glasgow last week for a joint friendly meeting with another club and our group. A few years ago East Ren came near to folding but a small group managed to keep things going by meeting in each others houses for a time. Gradually they turned things round, now have a thriving and active membership and have been able to resume hiring a room for their meetings. As I said in FVM they give a lot of films shows for other community groups on topics of local interest which gives them (a) subject matter to make films about (b) an audience (c) donations that help to keep the club viable and (d) valuable publicity and access to potential new members. The club also has a talented 12 year old junior member own who has made some very good animated films (and had 120,000 hits on You Tube!). So there is always hope and it is possible to turn around an apparently hopeless situation. I do hope that Borehamwood are able to keep going.
Brian Saberton
Lee Prescott
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Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by Lee Prescott »

:( Hi Alls,

Preamble:
Yes, sad when a "club" enters its demise. This happened here at *Stroud this last January but a major contributory factor therein was the sudden upheaval of the baffling silliness, (I could use a more descriptive word - but I'd probably be banned)!!!! of a certain few members attending a meeting which caused, effectively, that club to implode!

However that scenario is very unlikely to be the case with Boreham Wood.

So, having now concluded an "autopsy" myself, I offer the following.

1. Clubs will end if Young people are not "recruited". (It will happen with the IAC, it's no
use just depending on BIAFF).

2. To do this always proves very difficult, seemingly impossible.

3. Why? As with any film the Target (Audience) must be considered first and foremost.
(Something which most, if not all, BIAFF judges and others fail with by the way).
So, as soon as the first Youngster(s) roll over the club doorway and only see
US "more mature - in years" folks then - zilch that's it.

4. Solution? a). Try and set up a separate group for Young people only, alongside
the "club".
b). How? To do this organise a competition for young people only, with
worthwhile monetary prizes. Gain their interest.
c). Announce it in the local Press - media.
d). Get the support of some well known "celeb" having explained what you're
trying to do - inclusive of the Youngsters (Shouldn't be difficult in Boreham
Wood).
e). If this proves successful - during the Comp. Observe the Young People
closely
and then select and approach those suitable and try and get
their organisational interest and co-operation to form a group.
f). Subsequently have some, not all, joint meetings, filmic and also social.
g). Reorganise what few keen members are left at Boreham Wood and set
up an entirley new group and DROP the word "CLUB" completely.

h). Always be sympathetic, helpful - when asked or apprpoached.

The Do Nots

i). Do not try and teach the Youngsters "how to suck eggs" filmic or
otherwise.....never!
j). Never espouse the old "daddy knows best" attitude, "in my day" etc. etc.
k). Leave the 1950s. 1960.s 1970s. et al exactly back there where, in this
scenario - those belong.!
l). Never "talk down" to any of them, talk WITH them at effectively "their
level".
K). Never criiticise them. Only filmic-wise and Constructively and only when
required.

Finally: Always be friendly without being effusive or over doing it. Do not talk about
anyone behind their back!


For a smile:-
"I, the willing led by the unknowing am doing the impossible. I have done so much for so long with so little I am now qualified to do anything with nothing" !!!......

*A few of us are working on a new set up in my area.

Every success to you,

Lee. .... :)
Michael Slowe
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Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by Michael Slowe »

Lee and I have not always seen eye to eye but I agree with every word of his post. What good sense and advice! The young film makers like to 'do their own thing' and don't take kindly to being lectured, especially in connection to artistic activities like film making.
Last year I entered and attended the film festival organised by UCL in London on their campus in the Bloomsbury area of London. It was brilliant, and swarming with young film makers. Unlike last year they haven't selected my film for exhibition but I intend going because it is so enjoyable. Look up their site under Open City Docs Festival for full details. This is the sort of thing that young film makers like, some professionals it's true, but young and enthusiastic all the same. How to get them into the IAC, don't know, but we sure could use them!
Chrisbitz
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Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by Chrisbitz »

At Orpington, I think we have a slightly different outlook.

Even though the dream is to have 20 or so new 16-25s join, I think you're setting yourself an impossible target. For the majority of youngsters, it may be too much of a culture shock to walk into a room of people 40+ years older than you, and most don't stay long term.

So instead, we're targeting the mid range age group from say 30-55, who can easily relate to the majority age range, are in our experience are more likely to stay. These people have likely had their children grow up and leave home, so now have a new lease of free time...

The problem now is, how do you advertise to that age range? The only good idea I've had so far is Gyms, who seem to attract the correct age range, but we've done nothing serious about that yet.

I guess the point is, build up an equal range of people 30-80 and then it won't look quite so shocking to the difficult, "cool" 18-25s?
I like to make films, this is- my Youtube account. What's yours?

"all of the above is nothing more than nonsensical ramblings, and definately should NOT be misconstrued as anyone's official policy"
Lee Prescott
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Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by Lee Prescott »

:D

I would like to add just a further comment re Young People / Boreham Wood subject etc.

First though I would thank Michael for his very kind comment on my Post.

My Further comment: I am now much nearer getting that Birthday Card from H.M. The Queen -or eventually the next Coronated! Which is a jolly way of saying "how young I am not!....

My reason for this piece of information is this and in additon to my earlier Post: These days, where Young People are concerned, Young film makers et al., It is also important not only to "understand them" but to learn to speak their "language", their idiom and by this I do not mean a selected series of four letter words. What I mean, in essence, is 'Teen Speak. Of course some folks consider that such is ruining the English Language but is it? If so again it matters not in this scenario. (Shakespeare would never understand me)!

It is precisely because I set about, quite some time ago now, not only understanding the 21st. Century's Young People but also being able to talk WITH them. To date I have found this works wonders and belays the fact of the image of "An old fogie"! Try it.

Wishing all at Boreham Wood every success.

Lee..... 8)
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TimStannard
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Re: Borehamwood on the brink ... ?

Post by TimStannard »

I'm inclined to agree with Chris (except he obviously hasn't realised that in this day and age with people having children later in life and the average age for someone now getting their first mortgage being 38, the kids aren't likely to leave home until you're 60+ !)

The youngsters might well benefit from a younger secton within a club but they are not likely to be stayers or integrate. If they are giving some of their time to film making they no-doubt have ambition in that direction and would therefore assume older hobbiests are either unambitious or failures - neither of which they would particularly want to associate with.

The pre-bus-pass age group though have more realistic ambitions and are quite likely to be content to devote time to something which isn't going to lead anywhere, but is an end in itself.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
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